Hero po­lice seize ter­ror swords­man at gates of Palace

Royal home sus­pect ‘was wield­ing 4ft blade’

The Sunday Post (Newcastle) - - LONDON ALERT - By Tim Knowles tknowles@sun­day­post.com

A MAN who de­lib­er­ately drove at po­lice out­side Buck­ing­ham Palace and then “reached for a 4ft sword” was last night be­ing held un­der the Ter­ror­ism Act.

Three of­fi­cers were in­jured as they grap­pled with the man, who re­peat­edly shouted the words “Al­lahu Ak­bar”.

Yes­ter­day, PM Theresa May tweeted her praise for the un­armed of­fi­cers, who, she said: “Acted quickly and bravely to pro­tect the pub­lic, demon­strat­ing the ded­i­ca­tion and pro­fes­sion­al­ism of our po­lice.”

The in­ci­dent be­gan when a man drove a blue Toy­ota Prius at a marked po­lice ve­hi­cle just af­ter 8.30pm on Fri­day night.

Com­man­der Dean Hay­don, of the Metropoli­tan Po­lice coun­tert­er­ror­ism branch, said: “Uni­formed of­fi­cers then con­fronted the driver of the ve­hi­cle and dur­ing that con­fronta­tion the driver reached for a four- foot sword that was in the pas­sen­ger footwell.

“CS gas was used as part of the ar­rest and dur­ing the strug­gle the in­di­vid­ual re­peat­edly shouted the words ‘Al­lahu Ak­bar’.”

Eye- wit­ness Kiana Wil­liamson said: “There was one po­lice van and one car. There was also a civil­ian’s car that had veered to­wards the po­lice car.

“They were try­ing to get the man out of the car, shout­ing, more po­lice were ar­riv­ing at the scene and the man was fight­ing back.

“I saw one in­jured po­lice­man with an in­jury to his arm, al­though it didn’t look se­vere.”

The sus­pect was ar­rested at the scene on sus­pi­cion of griev­ous bod­ily harm and as­sault on po­lice. He was fur­ther ar­rested un­der the Ter­ror­ism Act 2000.

It is un­der­stood that no mem­bers of the royal fam­ily were in Buck­ing­ham Palace when the at­tack hap­pened.

It took place in a re­stricted area in Con­sti­tu­tion Hill, close to Buck­ing­ham Palace.

Lon­don Mayor Sadiq Khan hailed the “heroic and pro­fes­sional” re­sponse from po­lice and thanked them for en­sur­ing no mem­bers of the pub­lic were hurt. Mr Khan called on Lon­don­ers to be “alert but not alarmed”.

A 26-year-old man from the Lu­ton area is in cus­tody at a cen­tral Lon­don po­lice sta­tion.

■ The Queen was not in res­i­dence at the time.

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